Train from Belfast to Bangor, June 7th, 2019

Roger came to a talk I gave a talk at Liverpool School of Art and Design. As head of innovation at FACT (Foundation for Art and Creative Technology), Roger was one of the sponsors of the talk. He was taken by Poems by New Yorkers, and agreed to write one. If my success rate in asking in person is around 95 percent, it’s much less when people say they’ll do it later. I’m always extra pleased to see poems when people send them a week or two later, and delighted by this woodsy green high speed trip through Northern Ireland.

June 2019

Back in spud
country. Flight
Fly in along Strangford
Vegans are genocidal
toward cattle, sheep.
Chickens. Grasses
Overwhelmed by green
encroaching in every
Houses like teeth
below chewing up
the resources of
the land. How long
would we take to
recover a planet?

Imagined reforestation
Landings on wooded
shorelines, thick
verdigris, rustling
shuffling land, eyes
rolling and watching
The surprised deer
and wolf’s baited
breath condensing
in the warming air,
the clouds low and
light stealthing over
the hills and the
natural harbor, hugging to
the sycamores and
depositing on filigree
spider webs and
fern. Hanging on
warm fur like the
hot breath of the earth
Cooling into whispers
“What is it?”

The colour of the
Water is different
here. Deep, even in
shallow water
where the land,
confused, merely
continues into the
sea unchanged,
surviving as is, run
through with hybrids
and aquatics,
versions of their
denser land cousins.

The scrub lands of
Belfast. Outskirts
in many ways, the
laughing trauma
land and people,
happy with the gallow
happy with the pole,
proud of tattered
flag and bunkered

Back in spud country
with steel yarns
and tarmac flapjack
roads and green
green greens.
And concrete blocks
like cattle in the ice
huddled on the
old car park lawn,
breaking up, and populated anew
with tomorrows’
tenacious woods.

Read Friends by Samuel M.

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